Thor Donald Linde graduated from the University of Washington in 1956. Fifty-seven years later, in 2013, Sarah Reyes earned her degree from Washington State University.
Linde is 83. Reyes is 27. He wears purple. She wears crimson and gray.
With their alma maters headed to bowl games this week, they are reveling in loyal fandom.
Reyes, a communications officer with the city of Everett, said that during her years in Pullman, 2009 to 2013, she didn’t miss a single WSU home football game. “It’s the best place,” she said of Martin Stadium, the Cougars’ home field.
She isn’t going to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, but she’s sure to be watching in her hometown of Spokane when the Cougs take on Michigan State at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Reyes had hoped her Cougs would play in the Rose Bowl. “My mom bought us plane tickets, we were going to go — then we didn’t,” she said. “We had these tickets. We changed them and went to the Cal game. It was awful, but we met Cougs from all over.”
Her favorite game ever was Apple Cup 2012, when WSU beat the Huskies 31-28 in overtime. “It was over there in Pullman,” Reyes said. “Andrew Furney kicked the game-winning field goal. It was my senior year, and we rushed the field.”
Linde, who lives in Everett’s Eastmont area, has favorite games, too.
No. 1, he said was the 1978 Rose Bowl. His Washington Huskies, with Warren Moon as quarterback, beat Michigan’s Wolverines 27-20. And No. 2 was the 1985 Orange Bowl. The Huskies beat the Oklahoma Sooners 28-17 in rainy Miami, and the Sooners’ Schooner wagon got stuck on the muddy field.
Linde and his wife, Pat, have had Husky season tickets since 1964. As a longtime ticket holder, he was honored on the big screen at Husky Stadium during this year’s Utah game Nov. 18.
The Lindes won’t be in Glendale, Arizona, for Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl, when their Huskies will play Penn State. But they’ve had great times at 15 bowl games through the years, including seven Rose Bowls.
Linde, who goes by Don, is retired from the wholesale grocery business. Pat Linde is a Husky by marriage.
“My sister’s whole family are Cougars,” she said. The couple joked with their three children, all of them Cascade High School graduates, that they could attend any college — except WSU. And all three are UW graduates. Son Steve Linde graduated in 1979, son Tom Linde graduated in 1981 and from the University of Washington School of Law in 1984, and daughter Karen is a member of the UW Class of 1986.
The Lindes are both from the Aberdeen-Hoquiam area and attended Grays Harbor College before he came to the UW. “We bleed purple for sure,” Linde said.
After growing up in Spokane and going to college in Pullman, Reyes worried that Everett would be a place where “everyone lives for the Huskies.” Since being hired by the city, she continues her autumn pilgrimages to Pullman.
She’s been thrilled to see the progress of WSU North Puget Sound at Everett.
“I went to the groundbreaking,” she said. “The new campus is really neat, we’re watching it grow from the ground up. It’s giving people an opportunity to go to a university, when maybe their circumstances didn’t allow it before because their life was already here.”
Since she started at WSU, Reyes said her mom and stepdad have become football fans.
When it comes to college football, Reyes and Linde don’t share much common ground. They can agree on this: “It’s a fun family bonding experience,” Reyes said.